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Facebook from Scratch: what NOT to do with your Page when you’re away

Do you wish your Facebook page had more likes? More engagement? Sent more customers to your website? I’m with you! Welcome to the fourth post in an ongoing series on building & growing your Facebook page from scratch. (Check out the full Facebook from Scratch series here.)

Wonder what happens if you neglect your Facebook page for a week? This:

What happens when you neglect your Facebook Page[Click on the image to enlarge it.]

I've marked Friday, August 30 with a red arrow because that's the day I announced to my community I'd be offline for a few days and I went off the grid completely until Sept. 4th. (I don't often go completely social media dark–even when I'm away from the computer, I'm on my phone constantly–but I was hosting my wedding reception, and consequently tons of out-of-town family & friends that weekend.)

What really happens when you neglect your Facebook Page for a week

As a solopreneur without a team, it's all me. I answer all the emails. I post every social media status update. I schedule my client's sessions. I write, post and format every blog and newsletter. I actually love it (at least for the moment) but it means when I need to sign off, things just need to go on hold. And I'm not apologizing. Nor do I think my community really minds. (I know a lot of you out there are in a similar position!) But Facebook keeps track.

As I've said before, Facebook's algorithm rewards pages with high engagement by pushing their posts out to a large percentage of their audience. It's that ‘Talking about‘ number you should really be watching — more than your total number of Likes. So while it's completely understandable given my lack of posts, it was a wake-up call to see my ‘Talking about' number drop from 62 (more than 50% of my audience) on August 30th to 9 (not even 10% of my audience) a little over a week later.

As a result, my weekly total reach (the number of people I'm reaching with my posts, including people who see my posts because they've been liked, commented on or shared by a friend in my community) plummeted from 4132 to 400 in that same period. Ouch.

So I unwittingly preformed an experiment on how NOT to grow your page on Facebook. Good to know!

What I should have done differently–or how to take a Facebook vacation without losing momentum on your Page

1) Prepare & schedule posts in advance (easy to say, harder to do!)

Had I been more organized in the two weeks leading up to my wedding reception, I should have prepared and scheduled a bunch of posts to go out while I knew I would be completely unplugged.

Some snaps from our celebration!

I would still have seen a slight drop in my Page's numbers because there is no substitute for being present and directly engaging with your community, but it didn't need to be as dramatic as it was.

2) Find a (quick & simple) way to make my community part of the celebration

There were also lots of great photo opportunities during the weekend. I could have easily snapped a couple quick pictures with my phone and posted them to the page to share my excitement with my community. It wouldn't have taken a lot of time and might have helped me keep up the engagement on my page.

My “Facebook from Scratch” Page Report:
My Facebook page(see my page)

3 weeks ago (last report): 96 likes & 84 ‘talking about this'
This week: 114 likes & 15 ‘talking about this'

What I did:

  • Sent out a newsletter reporting on my first round of Facebook advertising to my community
  • Went on vacation…

I'd love to hear from you

How do you deal with your social media channels when you are on vacation?

Do you go dark or find a way to keep the posts going? Do you have any more tips on what I could have done differently while I was away? I'd love to hear your take in the comments!

Oh, and please share this on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ using the buttons below so my experiment in what NOT to do can prevent other solopreneurs from making the same mistake I did.

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>> In this free training you'll learn:

  • The number one mistake people make when it comes to their social media content
  • How to generate a month’s worth of content in a few short hours(using the same system I use AND teach my private clients)
  • What works (& what doesn’t) on Facebook and Twitter (with TONS of real examples)
  • How to automate this piece of your social media presence so it works hard getting you noticed while you’re busy doing other stuff

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